Warren City Council Votes to Join County Council of Governments

February 20, 2023

WARREN, Pa. – The City of Warren approved a motion during Monday’s meeting to become a member of the Warren County Council of Governments (COG).

The organization has operated as an informal entity in Warren County since 1995 and recently became formalized.

“It’s been loosely organized throughout its history,” said Councilman Maurice Cashman. “I applaud them for putting a formal document together so they can go out and get grants and other things. This just formalizes what they have been doing in the past. If we don’t like what they are doing, we can say no and they can go on with what they want to do. It actually operates the same as it always has, it’s just a formal document they have put together to get grants and officers.”

The city has been paying its yearly dues, which are $1,475.

Council Vice President John Wortman was the only “no” vote and cited the lack of representation relative to the amount paid for dues as his reasoning during Feb. 13’s work session.

“I agree municipalities need to work together,” Wortman said. “In my opinion, it’s a tale as old as time. The City of Warren is expected to foot the bill and not be given a proportional share of representation.”

Despite his vote, Wortman expressed his desire to represent the city with the COG.

“I would ask that I be considered to be the delegate for the City of Warren to COG,” Wortman said. “I have gone to the meetings, know the members, and feel I could do an effective job representing the city’s interests.”

The city delegate to COG will be explored at March’s regular council meeting, Mayor Dave Wortman acknowledged.

Councilman Jared Villella feels that the benefits of joining outweighed the dues owed yearly.

“We in the city are proud to provide citizens with a high level of service,” Villella said. “I think this is a nominal fee for the city to pay to be a good neighbor.”

Overall, the council viewed its membership as a major positive.

“I’ve been a pretty vocal supporter of this,” said Councilwoman Danielle Flasher. “Now that they are formalized, it can be another tool in our toolbox to move projects forward and improve our relationship with other municipalities. I think this is in our best interest and the interest of our citizens.”

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